Wealth and Want
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Fred E. Foldvary — The Ultimate Tax Reform: Public Revenue from Land Rent

Without audits, bank account seizures, and fear-inspiring letters from the IRS requesting information or additional payments or imposing interest and penalties, the opportunity for tyranny would greatly diminish, if not entirely disappear. Evasion being impossible, there would be no need or excuse for any inquisitive state investigators of fraud. Land value taxation also involves less invasion of privacy than taxing the whole property, since land value assessors do not need to enter the property to assess it. They don’t assess the new pipes, the expanded wiring, the renovated kitchen, or the new cottage in the back. ... read the whole document


Charles T. Root — Not a Single Tax! (1925)

Think of a tax which both assesses itself and collects itself, which burdens no one, which is paid voluntarily, and only by those who do so for their own profit or other advantage. Compare this with our present system of taxes, which everyone despises, which can be collected in full only from the very scrupulous and from the helpless, from trust funds of widows and orphans, or from estates which lie naked before the tax gatherer on the records of court; a system which drives men of property from state to state and town to town in flight from the assessor, and well-nigh forces many worthy citizens to practices of evasion which must make it hard for them to look into their own mirrors during the season for "Correction of Assessments;" there can be but one verdict upon such comparison. ... read the whole article


Karl Williams:  Social Justice In Australia: INTRODUCTORY KIT

Firstly, in a Geonomic society, the experience of real liberty would pervade everything. For citizens would not be beholden to the government to supply it all sorts of financial and personal information demanded by the tax system. Instead of having to abide by a multitude of tax requirements, the land you occupy would simply be assessed by professional assessors. This would only occur once a year, and the assessors would not even need to step onto your property because it would only be your land and not the improvements that would be assessed.

Gone are the armies of tax accountants, tax lawyers and tax department bureaucrats. Gone are the inefficiencies of speculation, the black economy and its attendant criminal elements. Gone is the pool of unemployed and the cost of supporting it (much more on this later). Gone are many of the social problems arising from unemployment, poverty, despair arising from hopelessness, and resentment resulting from great inequities of wealth. And because of LVT and other eco-taxes apply to all of the Global Commons, we'll live on a much healthier planet - and so will our children.

Instead, in steps an inconceivable prosperity resulting from a dynamic economy that encourages productivity, discourages speculation, is not hampered by high welfare needs, abolishes privilege, and doesn't undersell our natural environment. It is estimated that a typical household will have a true disposable income (after all taxes) often double that of the current system, and that the average business will earn trading profits after tax/rent considerably greater (refer to the section "What's in it for me?").  Read the entire article

Karl Williams:  Social Justice In Australia: INTERMEDIATE KIT

Remember too that LVT eliminates the government surveillance over people, their activities and their assets. What LVT and other conventional eco-taxes does do is to monitor Our One Earth as any responsible form of stewardship should, ensuring our scarce natural resources are not polluted, wasted, undersold or privately misappropriated.

The bottom line of our present economic system is that not everything which counts (our Earth) can be counted (in $ terms), and not everything that can be counted ("progress") counts. Presently, it's the market which determines the "worth" of, say, our water resources, our genetic integrity or the last remaining habitat of an endangered species. The only moderating factor to this is the blunt instrument of occasional government intervention, when public outcry forces it to save what's left of our (and future generations') Global Commons.

But there is a means of determining the worth of all of these intangible benefits - patches of the Global Commons which confer aesthetic, recreational, life-enhancing, spiritual, climate-preserving, biodiversity-saving benefits. ...

We all-too-meekly accept being legally robbed of the fruits of labour and capital, because we have been stooged into believing that there is no other way to pay for responsible government expenditure. Having established that beachhead, our governments then steadily make further inroads into earned income as well as into other human rights. After having been dispossessed of our share of the Global Commons, it would seem pretty inconsequential to complain about taxation eroding privacy, but it's worth looking into.

But just how trifling is the fact that a mass of laws, too many and complex for anyone to fully get a handle on, forces us to account for much of our "personal" activities? Our private lives are open to scrutiny following all sorts of disclosure. "But we have to pay our taxes," Peabody bleats as he obediently discloses every detail the tax system demands of his earnings, assets and investments. "We don't need to understand all this tax legislation," the dutiful drone on, "as we can simply employ accountants and sometimes tax lawyers to do it for us." "It's part of our duty as responsible citizens," Elroy explains as he files away his complete audit trails of financial transactions & statements required for tax purposes.

And we have to obey the law, don't we? The Tax Commissioner has powers of investigation in some circumstances greater than the police - in fact he is the law, with masses of legislation to support him and his sleuths. But as he's unlikely to kick in our bedroom door in the middle of the night, his other low-key invasions of privacy don't get much of a mention in the media.

And now GST dumps on us the onus and cost of collecting it. And the massive compliance costs of Business Activity Statements alone now display all-too-clearly the time and resources spent by taxpayers that would otherwise go into production.

While humans are being closely monitored, natural resources are not - the inverse of Geonomics. Only recently have we been getting some laws prohibiting or restricting certain types of pollution, but land and other natural resources are still being treated as mere commodities liable to being owned outright and treated as truly private private property. But natural resources don't behave as ordinary commodities, because many of them are scarce and some are necessary for human existence. At least we can be thankful that sunlight is abundant and renewable, for if it could be limited then someone would try to bottle it up and make a fortune on it.

Geonomics does not intrude into people's lives. Unlike the current assessors of misguided property tax, LVT assessors would never need to inspect and assess buildings and improvements, and rarely if ever would they need to set foot on the land itself, hence assuring complete privacy for most people. But Geonomics would monitor the direct usage of natural resources in order to determine the full and fair LVT and resource rentals. Usage of this sort obviously should not be kept private. ... Read the entire article


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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper